I am approaching my first anniversary as the CEO of The Jewish Community Board of Akron (JCBA). This anniversary reminded me of the song from Jonathan Larson's musical, Rent. You know the song and probably, at minimum, know the lyrics, "525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?"
Throughout this year, I've heard of the good, the not-so-good, and the possibilities of our community. But, amid all of those conversations, there has been one constant: the needs in our local and global Jewish community are not diminishing and must be addressed. This was true in my first minute in the office, it is true today, and it will be true tomorrow, and that is why the JCBA exists.
"Like the words of the song, my first year with the JCBA has been an accumulation of moments, meetings, pots of coffee, and terrific experiences."
JCBA is the only organization in Greater Akron charged with the responsibility of comprehensively assessing and addressing the needs of the entire Jewish community, both locally and globally. We are also an organization that leverages the human and financial capital of our community to power our efforts to ensure that we are secure, growing, and thriving. This power comes from you, and more specifically, from your investment in the JCBA Annual Campaign.
The Annual Campaign is not merely a vehicle for raising funds to support the programs and initiatives of our community agencies and synagogues. It is also our collective answer to the family that can't afford Jewish education, to the infirm elderly that can't leave their homes for food or medical treatment, to the next generation that is seeking direction on how best to identify with their Jewish heritage, and to stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel and in 70 countries around the world. This is the power that you wield through your investment in JCBA.
I hope that you will take a few of today's 1,440 minutes - while you are reading this article - and consider investing in the JCBA Annual Campaign. If you've never invested before, please do, if you have, please consider an increase to help meet the increasing needs.
Lastly, regardless of the ups and downs that come with the position of CEO of the Jewish Community Board of Akron, I continue to feel incredibly fortunate to be in this position and to serve this terrific community.